You’ve decided to take the plunge and renovate your bathroom with a new shower door. Congratulations! Upgrading your bathroom is one of the best investments you can make in your home, as it can add instant value. You’ve made the decision, now what’s next? Maybe you’ve seen a certain type of shower door you like on television, in a magazine or online. You’re probably thinking, “That’s definitely the door I want!” Sounds great, but before you start fantasizing about long, luxurious showers in your new enclosure, step back and take the time to do your research. Not all shower enclosures are equal and some will require extra installation time and expense.
Dustin Anderson from Anderson Glass demonstrates the shower door installation process.
Before your shower door installation can begin, take a look at your bathroom and determine the size and shape that will work best for your new enclosure. There are hundreds of options available, ranging from simple framed enclosures to the ultra-sleek frameless options. Some installations can be completed within just a couple of hours. Others are much more involved, particularly if your new shower door is part of a total bathroom remodel that requires demo and structural work. So, be sure to factor in the amount of time the work will take and plan accordingly in case it will be an extended amount of time.
Once you have an idea of the size, shape and style of your new shower door, you will want to meet with reputable glass shops in your area. These experts will provide you with quotes for the shower door and will work with you to ensure completion of a beautiful installation. Take the time to meet with more than one glass shop to get multiple quotes for your new shower door. Once you have an idea of the cost, you can look at additional customization options, such as hardware and finishes, as well as glass options. Frameless shower enclosures are typically constructed with heavy glass that runs from ½-inch to 3/8-inch thick. Alternatively, 3/16-inch and ¼-inch are the common thickness levels for framed enclosures. Keep in mind, the heavier the glass the more expensive it will be.
Whether you choose a framed or frameless enclosure, shower doors are required by law to be constructed with a safety glazing product. Most commonly, this is tempered glass. If broken, tempered glass will shatter into small particles compared to annealed glass, which breaks into sharp, jagged pieces.
The use of laminated glass is another emerging shower door trend. Laminated glass, which is used in most car windshields, is made of two or more plies of glass with a vinyl interlayer in between. In the event of breakage, the glass will tend to stay together, thus qualifying as a safety glazing material.
While clear glass may be the most common type of glass used in shower doors, there are many other options. Depending on the look you want, you may also opt for textured, patterned, etched, or other decorative alternatives. If this is something you’re considering for your new shower door, be sure to discuss this early on when you’re researching quotes. These decorative options will often increase the total cost, as the glass work is more labor-intensive.
Shower door hardware is another option to consider. Different types of handles, pulls and hinges are available in a wide range of styles and finishes. Keep this in mind when making your selection. Some people want the shower door hardware to match the other finishes, such as those on the tub and sink. Discuss these options when researching quotes, as well. Some hardware styles and finishes will add to the cost of the total price.
Once you have a quote and have selected your installation company, someone will come to your home to take professional measurements. This step is necessary as it will provide the installer with the information to finalize your quote and begin fabrication. Measuring usually takes a couple of hours for a three-panel frameless enclosure. Some shops will require a deposit to begin the next phase of the work, fabrication and production. This typically will take a day or two, depending on the shop’s capabilities and whether they handle everything in house. If they outsource any of the steps it may take a bit longer. These steps will include cutting, polishing and tempering the glass. Some shower door companies handle all of these processes, while others will work with a local glass fabricator. Once the glass is complete, the hardware can be added and the shower door will be ready for installation.
Your installer will schedule a time that works best for you and your day-to-day routine. If your bathroom remodel project requires structural work or new tiles, the shower door installation will take place after those portions are complete. The actual time to install the shower door usually takes less than one day, and you will soon be enjoying your new bathroom addition.
Once the installation is done, expect the shower door technician to leave your bathroom and your home just as they found it—if not better. A quality installation should include a full clean-up of the bathroom area. Installers should be clean, courteous and respectful of your home. You can also usually expect a warranty on your new shower door. This will vary depending on the company, the installation and the type of shower door you’ve had installed. Be sure and discuss these options early on in the process with the different companies you’re considering.
Now that you know what to expect during a shower door installation, let’s start the process of finding a quality installer in your area. Glass.com can help by getting you free price quotes from local companies in your area. You will find local glass shops are readily available to serve your needs and to answer questions you might have about your new shower door. If you’re looking for guidance, assistance or product recommendations, Glass.com is ready to guide you along the way. Before you know it, your shower door installation will be complete and you will be enjoying a sparkling new bathroom addition.
Daniel: So Dustin, we’re onsite at one of your shower door installs. It looks like we already have the fixed panel up in place right here. It looks like it’s been caulked in along the edge and the bottom to keep water inside the shower. It’s a very clear glass. There’s no texture or anything like that on it. So we see the nice tile finish and the nice stone floor.
It looks like the hardware for the door is already up as well. And this hardware matches what is already in the shower and what’s on the sink to our side, and the door behind us. Is this oil rubbed bronze?
Dustin: Yup, this is an oiled bronze finish. We’ll grab the door here in just a second, slide it in the spot, crank it down, and get our alignment the way we want it. We’ll add a door handle so they can get in and out, and then we’ll walk away.
Daniel: Alright, let’s get to it!
Alright so you got this job finished up, it looks like. You’ve got the door mounted, you have the handle on. Is this pretty much all wrapped up for you?
Dustin: For the most part. We’re going to clean it up really good, double-check to make sure the silicone work is on point. No pinholes or anything like that. We’ll add a polycarbonate sweep to the bottom of the door to help with waterproofing and then outside of that, we’re done.
Daniel: For the homeowner, now that this is finished and this is theirs, what can they do to keep the glass cleaner over time?
Dustin: So that’s a great question. You can typically do a couple of things. One, if you’re someone who doesn’t mind using a squeegee, you can jump in here every time you’re done and squeegee it off. Super clean. The glass will truly last you forever.
The other option is there’s a hydrophobic coating that’s now taking place in our industry and there’s a couple of versions of it. There’s some that actually go on with the tempering process. And then there’s some other pieces that your glazing contractors can actually put on.
Daniel: Awesome. Alright, well let’s get this cleaned up for the homeowner.
Dustin: Awesome, sounds good.
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